Whipped Goat Cheese & Asparagus Puff Pastry

I recently went on a clean eating spree. It was incredibly hard the first week, habits of just reaching for things when I wanted them. I thought I was pretty good at denying myself 'the bad stuff', fried things, double cheeseburgers, etc., but it became clear very quickly that one of the big no-no's on the list was a very big YES, YES, for me.


I struggled to completely give it up and only for a month! But in giving it up I noticed just how much dairy I consume. I thought I only put too much half-and-half in my coffee. Turns out I put cheese on my eggs and in my salads and snack on it when I get home from work and eat a bowl of yogurt and granola before bed. I managed, however, to push through 30 days without dairy, even somehow giving up my favorite though rare and super rich lazy night meal of carbonara or alfredo.

Since getting off my clean eating plan I've sort of been binge eating dairy. 

I... I tried. 

But I now have to make up for 30 days of missed cheese.

So many recipe ideas full of dairy floated through my head in that month and now here I am, buried in 3 pounds of assorted cheeses from the cheese counter at Whole Foods. One of which is an 11oz log of goat cheese. Oh I missed you goat cheese. Here is a loving ode to you.

I'm leaning towards telling you to make this for company but I have to admit I ate this mostly on my own. Please don't shame me, it's so good. Bright, creamy, salty and flaky. It's a perfect little bond of pleasantries and hard to say no to. The lemon zest really brightens up this yummy snack perfectly, please don't skip it. 

1 puff pastry sheet, thawed

1 bunch asparagus
2-3 slices of prosciutto
handful of cherry tomatoes

Whipped Goat Cheese

6oz goat cheese
1 tsp lemon zest
5 tbsps heavy/light cream
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut 1 to 1 1/2 inches from the bottom of asparagus and discard the scraps, set aside asparagus stalks. Lightly oil shallow oven safe pan or cookie sheet and place prosciutto on one side and tomatoes on the other. Set aside. 

Roll thawed puff pastry out on a well floured surface and dust a rolling pin in flour. Depending on your brand this starts at about 10x15, roll from the shortest side up, to elongate the dough, rolling width wide to keep balanced and equal. The dough will feel fairly thin, but that's okay, it'll puff. Score the dough gently with a knife about an inch in on all sides, marking the edges the will avoid when filling the center. Do not apply much pressure, you don't want to cut the pastry. Line a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and place in the oven as well as tomatoes and prosciutto, for 20 minutes. Tomatoes and prosciutto will bake until tomatoes pop and release some liquid and prosciutto is crisp.

In a mixing bowl, add goat cheese, cream, lemon zest, and salt. Using a hand mixer, beat until light and smooth. If the goat cheese will not smooth into a whip and appears crumbly add additional cream 1 teaspoon at a time until goat cheese is whipped smooth. 

Remove puff pastry, tomatoes and prosciutto from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. The pastry will be a big puff ball and it will collapse, do not fret. Once cool enough, remove goat cheese mixture from the fridge and spoon onto the puff pastry smoothing as you go and staying within the rectangular scoring you marked before baking. Grab your asparagus and place, alternating top to bottom from one end of the pastry to the other. Spread tomatoes around on top of the pastry and crumble crispy prosciutto on top. Bake for another 35-40 minutes until the puff pastry and goat cheese brown at the edges and fluff up. 

Try to wait about 15 minutes before you dig in.

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